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Ongoing concern in the U.S. economy as well as economic uncertainty in Europe will cause business travel in the U.S., including group travel, to slow down for the rest of the year, according to the Global Business Travel Association.
GBTA has significantly downgraded its outlook for U.S.-initiated business travel since last quarter. Despite the higher prices and relatively strong demand that have led to solid growth in business travel spend in the last few quarters, growth will moderate for the remainder of the year. GBTA now expects total business travel spending to grow just 2.2% for 2012, reaching $256.5 billion by the end of the year. This represents a downgrade of 1.4% since last quarter, when GBTA estimated growth would be 3.6%.
GBTA expects group travel will not pick up significantly until the U.S. economy experiences more robust growth. Spending on group business travel is projected to grow 1.8% in 2012 and 5.1% in 2013.
In April, GBTA had a more optimistic projection for group travel spending: 3.3% in 2012, down from a growth of 7.2% in 2011 over 2010.
International outbound travel will continue to drastically outpace domestic travel. GBTA projects growth of 2.9% in 2012 followed by a more significant rise of 7.2% in 2013. GBTA has continued to pull back its projections as trouble in Europe continues. Details: www.gbta.org.